Working on a cure for arthritis

Dr Emma Dorris from the Centre for Arthritis Research, UCD will present research on rheumatoid arthritis (RA), rare rheumatic diseases and fibromyalgia in the Great National Hotel, Ballina at 7pm, Thursday September 13.

Dr Emma Dorris from the Centre for Arthritis Research, UCD will present research on rheumatoid arthritis (RA), rare rheumatic diseases and fibromyalgia in the Great National Hotel, Ballina at 7pm, Thursday September 13.

The Mayo branch of Arthritis Ireland is hosting an information evening about ground-breaking arthritis research in Ballina this Thursday.

Dr Emma Dorris from the Centre for Arthritis Research, UCD will present research on rheumatoid arthritis (RA ), rare rheumatic diseases and fibromyalgia. The Working on a Cure event will take place in the Great National Hotel, Ballina at 7pm, Thursday September 13. It will also highlight opportunities for people to get involved in arthritis research.

According to Stacey Grealis, member of the Mayo branch: "This is a fantastic opportunity to hear first hand about some of the exciting developments which are happening in arthritis research. Ireland is a recognised global leader in rheumatology research; a position which has been supported financially in no small way by Arthritis Ireland. I have no doubt that anyone who attends will come away not only better informed, but feeling empowered and energised about the future. We encourage anyone living with arthritis – and their family members – to attend."

A molecular biologist, Dr Dorris’ research investigates the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis and rare rheumatic diseases. Her work includes understanding the role of a previously unknown molecule that has a different genetic signature in people with rheumatoid arthritis compared to those without it. This project was co-funded by Arthritis Ireland and the Health Research Board.

She also leads the Public and Patient Involvement initiative for the Arthritis Research Centre, which aims to reframe research to focus on the patient rather than the disease. She is also one of the inaugural eLife Ambassadors for good practice in science and the only Irish Ambassador. eLife Ambassadors aim to reinforce good practice in science, both locally and across the globe.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common inflammatory types of the disease; affecting 45,000 people in Ireland. Some 2,000 people – mainly women – are diagnosed annually with RA; the overwhelming majority in their 30s, 40s or 50s. It is estimated that 30% of patients with RA are unable to work within 10 years of onset of the condition.

In general, there are 200 different types of rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders (RMDs ), which can cause those living with the conditions considerable pain and limit mobility and function. In severe cases, RMDs can result in significant disability, having a major impact on both quality of life and life expectancy.

In addition to the research talk, exhibitors at the event will include Homecare Medical, Home Instead, Footworks Chiropody, Bowen Therapy Mayo, Citizens Advice, the Education and Training Board and Mayo Sports Partnership.

The Mayo branch of Arthritis Ireland is a community group of people living with arthritis and fibromyalgia that advocates on behalf of and supports the 26,000 people across Mayo living with the disease. It is part of the national patient organisation, Arthritis Ireland, representing the one million people living with the condition in Ireland.

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